Saturday, March 26, 2011

This week in solo albums: Travis Barker?!?

* New this week: ex-Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft has a new solo album, recorded with several hip-hop producers. This probably isn't as terrible a move as Chris Cornell's album with Timbaland, just because Ashcroft's other solo work has been so soporific.

* Speaking of Chris Cornell, Soundgarden just put out a live album and are supposedly working in the studio, but Cornell is taking a break this spring to do some solo acoustic shows.  The one in my area sold out very quickly.

* Also new and in stores this week: Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker's solo album. Based on the performance I saw on Conan and the clips available online, Barker is just drumming and producing, not singing.

* Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis has a new solo album. It's supposed to be a bit "folky."

* While not a solo album per se, erstwhile Blur / Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn is working on a new opera about an Elizabethan-era astrologer which will premiere this summer in Manchester. That Damon, always out-Britishing everybody else.

*And my favorite solo album news of the week comes from Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, whose second solo album will come out this summer and was recorded exclusively using ukuleles. Ukulele Songs comes out May 31. Check out the sounds of Hawaii on Vedder's solo tour; get dates here.